Publicada por Arith Härger / 8:11 PM /
Innumerous children's skulls dating back to the Bronze Age, were discovered around the perimeter of some ancient settlements in Switzerland and Germany. The skulls show signs of violence which probably led to their deaths. According to the archaeological studies, the skulls may have been offered as gifts for the local deities of the lake.
During the 1970s and 1980s, archaeologists discovered a series of ancient settlements dotted along some Alpine lakes in Switzerland and Germany. Excavations at these sites revealed more than 160 dwellings, along with hunting tools, ceramics, and other artifacts dating back to between 3,800 and 2,600 years ago. The villages would have been set up close to the lakes to provide ready access to fresh water, along with fish for eating, and reeds for weaving. However, the Bronze Age lake dwellers also regularly faced flooding. Archaeological evidence shows that the houses were built on stilts or wooden foundations and that homes were moved further away when lake levels rose, before being returned again after they receded.
During the Bronze Age it was common to societies to make sacrifices to the gods, not only to appease them but also as gifts in turn of the divine gifts; plentiful schools of fishes, good harvests and peace of example. Offerings were made by either burying the sacrifice in the ground or placing it in water. It was important that the right type of gift was sacrificed in the right way and in the right place, and water appears to have been one of the most important places to make such offerings, perhaps due to the belief that water was a "doorway" which led to the spiritual world. Archaeological discoveries, such as the bog bodies of Lindow Man and Tollund Man, show that humans also sometimes formed part of these offerings.
In the Bronze Age lake settlements in Switzerland and Germany, archaeologists not only found ancient artifacts but also found many children's skulls encircling the perimeter of the villages. Many of these skulls had been placed there long after their initial burial, at a time when the settlements experienced the worst inundation from rising lake levels.
Some of the skulls were examined and it was found evidences of violence which was the cause of these children's death. There were markings of axe blows and other head traumas. Apparently, these injuries do not have the uniformity associated with sacrifice or ritual killing, and it is more likely they were killed during times of conflict. Nevertheless, the circumstances of the burials suggest the skulls may have been offered after death as gifts to the lake gods to ward off flooding, as they had been intentionally placed at the high-water mark of the flood waters.
Across Europe as a whole, there is quite a body of evidence to indicate that throughout prehistory human remains, and particularly the skull, were highly symbolic and socially charged. The results provide further insights into Bronze Age culture, revealing new information about how they treated their dead, and religious beliefs and rituals associated with natural calamities.
Publicada por Arith Härger / 1:55 PM /
Women during the Viking Age on Scandinavian soil, played very important roles in their society. We already know that there were some women who were warriors, they took up arms and went to battle, although, there is little evidence to support that fact as being something they would usually do. Its impossible to generalize that but of course some women would go to war. However, women in the scandinavian society during the Viking Age had important roles in the household and land ownership, that was their frequent power.
According to archaeological findings, women had defined roles in cooking, knitting, taking care of the house and the children, managing the slaves they owned and taking care of the farm as well as the land within their properties. During times of war and the absence of their husbands, they would take up arms to defend their land, their properties.
During times of war, women were frequently left alone with their children and became widows. All the possessions of a warrior, including is land and belongings, went to his wife. Viking Age women in the scandinavian society need not to be married to another man upon their previous husband's death, it wasn't an obligation, they were absolutely free to choose to be without a husband or to find a new one. As such, women would take the role of their deceased husbands as being the head of the household and also as being warriors, so in these cases it was frequent to see a woman fighting with, taking up shield and weapons. If a male warrior and his wife died, their land and property would be passed on to their eldest child, regardless of gender, if they had children of course.
The reason the Viking warriors gave their land to their wives ,upon their deaths, was because a marriage in Scandinavia was a contract in which both parties entered as equals. All material possessions were recognized as given to the newlywed wife for protection. Thus, we may rightly infer that Viking Age women had more rights than their christianized descendants, for that newly monotheistic religion brought much suffering to women because of the negative view around the female gender. We might even assume that during those times and in the scandinavian society, women had more rights than most women of our era. It seems that the Vikings were not the mindless, bloodthirsty barbarians the christians depicted.
Publicada por Arith Härger / 6:59 PM /
Those of you who are interested in the study of "bog bodies" and the history and religious rituals behind such theme, the Tollund Man is definitely one of the most interesting archaeological findings on this matter.
The Tollund Man ,as it was named, is the naturally mummified body of a man who lived during the 4th century b.C., during the period characterised in Scandinavia as the Pre-Roman Iron Age. He was hanged as a sacrifice to the gods and placed in a peat bog where he remained preserved for more than two millennia. Today, the face of the Tollund Man is as preserved as the day he died. The look upon his face is calm and peaceful, as though looking upon a sleeping man.
It was the 6th of May, of the year 1950, when two brothers cutting peat in the Bjaeldskov bog, an area about 10 kilometres west of the Danish town of Silkeborg, came upon the lifeless body of a man. The man's physical features were so well-preserved that he was mistaken at the time of discovery for a recent murder victim and the police was called. Puzzled by the appearance of the remains and recalling the discovery of two other ‘bog bodies’ in the same bog in 1927 and 1938, the police asked an archaeologist named P. V. Glob to come and view the discovery. Recognizing that this was an ancient burial, Glob began efforts to remove the body for further study.
The examination of the Tollund Man at the National Museum of Denmark in 1950 revealed an unusually well-preserved body of an adult male who was slightly over five feet tall and approximately 40 years old when he died. The stubble on his chain, eyelashes, and the wrinkles in his skin can still be observed in minute detail. His last meal was porridge made from 40 different kinds of seeds and grains.
The Tollund Man was naked apart from a leather cap and a wide belt around his waist. Around his neck was a braided leather rope tightened in a noose. It was clear that he had been hanged, but why? Was he a criminal, a victim of crime, or part of a ritual sacrifice? Archaeologists embarked on an investigation to find out.
Like all the other "bog bodies" that have been found, the Tollund Man showed no signs of injury or trauma, apart from that caused by the hanging. It was clear that he had also been buried carefully in the bog , his eyes and mouth had been closed and his body placed in a sleeping position, something that wouldn’t have happened if he was a common criminal.
When someone died in the Iron Age, the body was cremated in a funeral pyre and the ashes placed in an urn, but the Tolland Man was buried in a watery place where the early people of Europe believed they could communicate with their many gods and goddesses. He was also killed in the winter or early spring, a time that human sacrifices were made to the goddess of spring.
Taking into account all of these factors, archaeologists believe that the Tollund Man was ritually sacrificed. He may have been an offering to the gods in return for peat that was taken from the bog. The incredible discovery of Tollund Man has brought to life in vivid detail the lives and deaths of the people of prehistoric Denmark. He now resides in a special room of the Silkeborg Museum.
Publicada por Arith Härger / 7:04 PM /
Scientists in Germany are ever closer to dating an ancient wooden statue which they say contains secret encrypted codes written around 9,500 years ago - possibly the oldest on the planet (so far). The Shigir Idol, as it was called, is twice as old as the Egyptian pyramids and was preserved as if in a "time capsule" in a peat bog on the western fringes of Siberia. Now Russian experts say the remarkable relic contains encoded information on the 'creation of the world' - a message to modern man from the Mesolithic Era, during the pré-historic time.
German scientists are now close to a precise dating - within five decades - of the remarkable artifact, which is a stunning example of ancient man's creativity. The results are likely to be known in late February or early March, 2015.
The idol, 'scraped' using a 'stone spoon' from larch timber, is around 4,000 to 5,000 years older than Britain's world famous Stonehenge monument. The idol stands 9.2ft (2.8 metres) in height but originally was 17.4ft (5.3 metres) tall, as high as a two storey house.
Almost 6.5ft (2 metres) of the artefact went missing during Russian's 20th century political turmoil, though Siberian archaeologists drew images of all the pieces. It is a unique sculpture, there is nothing else in the world like this. It is very alive, and very complicated at the same time.
The ornament is covered with nothing but encrypted information. People were passing on knowledge with the help of this Idol. While the messages remain an utter mystery to modern man, the Russian academics have said its creators lived in total harmony with the world, had advanced intellectual development, and a complicated spiritual world.
There is a representation of a straight line in this idol, which could denote land, or horizon - possibly the boundary between earth and sky, water and sky, or the borderline between the worlds. A wavy line or zigzag symbolised the watery element, snake, lizard, or determined a certain border. In addition, the zigzag signaled danger, like a pike. Cross, rhombus, square, circle depicted the fire or the sun, and so on. But the marks could have multiple meanings for the ancient statue-makers who gave the idol seven faces, only one of which is three-dimensional.
If these are images of spirits that inhabited the human world in ancient times, the vertical position of figures (one above the other) probably relate to their hierarchy according to the researchers. Images on the front and back planes of the Idol, possibly indicate that they belong to different worlds.
If there are depicted myths about the origin of humans and the world, the vertical arrangement of the images may reflect the sequence of events. Ornaments can be special signs which mark something as significant.
Publicada por Arith Härger / 6:48 PM /
Niflheim literally means "The Home of Mists". In the norse mythology and cosmology this realm is depicted as being very cold, covered by snow, frost and ice. Niflheim is one of the two worlds that collided in the beginning of time, thus creating all the other worlds and life itself. Niflheim collided with Muspelheim - frost and fire.
As I have mentioned before, we speak of worlds not as actually seperate worlds but realms, nine realms of the norse cosmology, so vast that led people to believe (spirit-workers and shamans of old) that the nine realms were actually worlds because of the vastness of the landscape and the different types of weather, flora and fauna that exist in each of the nine realms.
Niflheim is a very ancient world/realm, and its glaciers and mountains were solidified long ago, duo to its famous river, the River Elivagar (Icy Waves). This great river crystallized all things into frost, this everything turned into ice and remained as such. When muspelheim collided with Niflheim, the ice of Niflheim began to melt away in the southernmost areas. It was when the first being was created/came to life, the great frost giant Ymir, born of ice and fire unified.
Unlike the other realms of the norse cosmology, its very hard to be aware of the seasonal changes in Niflheim, it seems to be always winter, similar to the artic regions of out own world. The days are long and the nights longer still at Winter, it seems that night never ends.
More than half of Niflheim is covered by snow and ice, and it will never melt. The weather is often cloudy and shrouded in mist on the low land. The sky is covered most of the time, so it is easy to get lost in here, the stars or the position of the sun and moon are of no avail, and everything in the landscape looks exactly the same thousands of miles in every direction. Closer to Svartalfheim the landscape turns more mountainous and the ice starts to melt by the shore, creating a sea of icebergs and snow-covered islands till it reaches the southern shores of Svartalfheim.
The most important geographical feature in Niflheim, is probably the sacred well named Hvergelmir. Hvergelmir is the largest well sacred well, and hot-spring of turbulent waters from which many rivers flow.
About the fauna and flore of Niflheim, those only exist in the northernmost parts near Svartalfheim. A few plants dotted the soils of the islands and the tundras. In the water there are seals and other cold-water mammals. There are also a few mammoths roaming in the tundras and a dire wolves to the north-east.
Publicada por Arith Härger / 10:44 PM /
I knew one, friend of old
true was his friendship and love
gleaming heart of pure gold
akin to a brother? Sort of...
In a tarn of clouds
now lies another star
veiling mist, it shrouds
but I see it from afar
Short-lived is happiness
we dwell in shivering grief
mirth minished, marred in gladness
we remain in disbelief
Most unexpected, all too soon
ere hope has faded
from us swept this afternoon
yonder, you have waded
Memory remains, like wind over water
sweeping the surf upon the beach
fate, I can not avert
where you are, I can't reach
Valiant-hearted, you are friend
certainly we shall meet again
all comes to an end
the question is, when?
Eager to see you, we are
you must wait a little while
shine bright young-spirited star
you left more than a smile
Cσρуяιgнт © 2014™
A friend departed, and in this winter-grieving day this mournful spirit wrote a poem to him.
Publicada por Arith Härger / 3:44 PM /
In the Norse pantheon, Hel/Hela is the goddess of death, the deity that rules in the underworld and all its denizens. In previous posts I have written about her already. Now, I will not delve much into the subject of who she is and her purpose as a goddess, nor will I talk about her gifts. In this post, I will write about her in a different manner, how to work with her in a spiritual way. To those who already know her, it will be easier to interpret.
The majority of the Norse gods (both genders) are associated with light, but Hela on the other hand, is one of the few Norse deities which represents exactly the opposite. She is associated with darkness, the kind of darkness which absorbs the light, a very powerful negative energy. This is probably one of the reasons people associate her with evil and an horrific afterlife spent in darkness. The christianization of Europe adopted her name to label the terrible afterlife awaiting those who sin, the place where the devil reigns and tortures souls (Hell). This is an awful mistake, Hela has nothing to do with christian beliefs, and she may be associated with darkness, but that doesn't mean that darkness itself is naturally linked to evil. She seldom comes in the lore, and even the most important lore we have about the gods, such as the written works of Snorri Sturluson, had already a christian influence which is perfectly natural at that time, for the christian faith was gaining much ground and none could speak or write about subjects which "defiled" the christian faith. Most of what we really know about the goddess Hela, comes from the spirit-workers who have the honour to work with her. Unfortunatelly, such people are few, but we still can learn a lot about the gods in this manner. We must let go all the mysticism and lies that were created around many pagan gods.
Working with Hela:
When meeting with Hela (if you have such honour, because she really only chooses a handful of spirit-workers once in a life time), she would certainly like to be offered something to drink, be that alcoholic or not, preferably home-brewed. She usually wears long and simple clothing, normally black or grey or both, you will recognize her easily.Also, the her best feature which you will recognize her immediately as soon as you see it, is the fact that she usually wears rings. One ring on every finger of her left hand.
There are some people, Spirit-workers or not, that paint half of their faces resembling a skull, or actually use a mask like that to honour her. Hela will often work with female spirit-workers, but occasionally it is possible for her to also call for a male spirit-worker, but that seldom happens.
Hela walks very slowly and moves quietly. She only speaks to a person at the time, there are no group gatherings around her. Be very quiet, don't interrupt her, listen intently to what she has to say. Her vast knowledge is something that she will not share with most, and if she chooses to share it with you, be certain that you are being given the most honourable audience of all.